Retired firefighter wins Tuesday's Turf Handicapping Challenge tourney

Jennie Rees

Follow today’s action and view yesterday’s complete results

Robert Swickard, a retired firefighter from Commerce Township, Mich., captured the first of two stand-alone live-money tournaments that form the Kentucky Downs Turf Handicapping Challenge presented by Daily Racing Form with a bankroll of $7,502.80.

Swickard not only earned a profit of just over $7,000 from his starting $500 bankroll, he picked up first-place prize money of $10,000 and a seat in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, worth another $10,000. His lead also makes him today’s early pacesetter for the overall title of National Turf Handicapping Champion, who will earn an additional $15,000 in prize money and a seat in the BCBC.

At stake Tuesday were two BCBC seats and six seats to the National Horse Players Championship (NHC) early next year.

Matt Mungiole took second at $6,192 to pick up $4,000 and a BCBC seat, edging Eric Adler’s $6,122 (earning $3,000 and an NHC seat) out of 182 entries. Rounding out the top 10 were (with prize awards): Marikate Carter $5,328.20 ($2,000, NHC), John Gaspar $4,872.50 ($1,000, NHC), Chris Goodrich $4,651 (NHC), Steven Meier $4,360.40 (NHC), Chris Cupples $4,000 (NHC), Pete Acocella $3,950 and Brett Wiener $3,940.50.